How to Polish Resin Jewellery & Resin Buffing
Resin jewellery has become very popular as creators can create truly original pieces. The processes for making resin jewellery are quite easy using moulds and simple to use resins. This article will look at finishing resin jewellery with polishing and resin buffing methods to create professional quality jewellery pieces.
Once you have de-moulded your jewellery piece and it has cured fully you can refine the jewellery pieces appearance by drilling, sanding, polishing or buffing. Be sure to wear a mask when applying any of these techniques as they will create fine resin dust that you wouldn’t want to inhale.
Hand Sanding and Polishing or Buffing
To start with you may need to use a coarse grade of sandpaper to take off the obvious bumps and imperfections. A grade of 100 to 180 grit is the most suitable for this task. A wooden block for sanding can help to sand only the high points and get a smooth finish.
Next we can move to wet and dry sandpaper for finer sanding with grits starting at 320 and moving through to 400. You can sand the item under running water if you wish to reduce the dust. You can move to even finer grits of 600 through to 1500 to achieve glass like surfaces.
A final polish is needed to bring the surface up to a high gloss. We usually use a polishing compound for buffing resins and a cloth.
Note: This method only applies to polyurethane and polyester resins. With epoxy resins resin buffing is not recommended. Instead we suggest you re-coat the sanded surface with resin to create a high shine. Special coating resins are designed for this task.
Resin buffing can be sped up by using machine buffers. Care must be taken however with the speed of the buffer. If speeds are too high then the resin may soften and leave white marks in the surface.
For the same reasons with machine buffing, drilling must also be done at a slow speed. Drill bits can also become clogged if the resin gets to hot and softens.
Be sure to secure the small jewellery piece so that a straight hole can be drilled. We have tried several materials to put between a vice and the jewellery piece so that it doesn’t mark the delicate resin surface and have found that leather is ideal.
If at any time you make a mistake with your drilling you can repair it with additional resin mix.
Attaching Jewellery Findings
When attaching findings to the jewellery pieces epoxy glue is the most suitable. The 5 – 10 minute setting type is ideal. You can also use your original resin mix to attach findings. Leave overnight to set.
To Achieve a Matte Finish
An interesting and different way of finishing resin jewellery is to give the pieces a matte finish. This can be done by sandblasting the cured piece. If you don’t have access to a sandblaster, small units are available at an economical price and are powered by a compressed can of air. Alternatively you can use a pumice rubbing compound to give your pieces a matte finish.
Source by Stan Alderson